Concert preview: Five acts to see at Rock on the Range

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From the May 15, 2014 edition

Rock on the Range takes over Columbus Crew stadium this weekend (look for a full review from our own Brad Keefe early next week). In addition to Mastodon, the inventive Atlanta metalheads who we profiled this week, here are the five acts attendees shouldn’t miss.

Truckfighters (1:45 p.m. Friday)

The Swedish stoner-rock trio sports a name that calls to mind an epic monster truck rally, and a thunderous sound that’s every bit as car-crushing. It’s no wonder the crew has earned praise from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, who labeled it “the best band that’s ever existed.”

Living Colour (5:45 p.m. Friday)

Yes, it was disappointing when Motorhead had to pull out of the festival, but the sting was significantly lessened when the Vernon Reid-led quartet stepped in to fill the void. Expect a heavy dose of songs off Vivid, the landmark ’88 album that effortlessly combined elements of hard rock, funk, jazz, reggae and more, as well as, perhaps, a new song or two, considering a long-in-the-works comeback album is expected sometime this year.

Guns N’ Roses (9:30 p.m. Friday)

No, this is not the same Guns that welcomed listeners to the jungle with an awe-inspiring primal fury, and the last decade or so has been defined by singer/creative force Axl Rose’s steady stream of “He did what now?” decisions (parting ways with guitarist/nicotine-addicted Muppet Slash, briefly employing a musician who performed wearing a fast food bucket on his head). Even so, GNR’s songs have withstood the test of time, and reports from an early spring South American tour suggest the reformed crew is finally hitting its stride.

Kvelertak (4:20 p.m. Sunday)

How the Jim Breuer Band didn’t land the 4:20 slot, we’ll never know. Instead fans will be treated to a stampeding set from a Norwegian six-piece whose name (it translates to “chokehold”) doubles as a rough approximation of its bruising sound.

Gojira (5:40 p.m. Sunday)

Growing up in the southwest of France, Joe and Mario Duplantier developed a strong attachment to that environment that carries over into their music, which tends to flaunt a conservationist message (one could totally imagine Al Gore banging these tunes backstage before giving one of his global warming PowerPoint presentations). But while the lyrics offer a defense of a planet in peril, the music often sounds nearly as destructive as mankind itself.

Gojira photo by Gabrielle Duplantier

Kvelertak photo by Stian Andersen

Truckfighters photo courtesy of Truckfighters